Adventures of Brian Archives - A Step at a Time

The story behind our books!

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, bereavement, books, hypnotherapy | No Comments

I often get asked WHY I wrote the Adventures of Brian. With an ever growing book collection many people we meet want to know how it was inspired and what comes next. So it seemed an apt time to share it with you, as the anniversary of meeting the little girl who would prove to be a game changer to my life is coming up soon. So here’s our story… the Adventures of Brian Back Story… I’ve worked with children for my whole career, at 16 I worked in nurseries, progressing up to Nursery Manager and Early Years support roles within the local council. I additionally became a lecturer in early years and health and social care over 14 years ago so I suppose you could say that working with children and young people was in my DNA. I’ve always been a book worm and I love anything creative, as…

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5 reasons why anxiety in teenagers is increasing and how you can help

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The NHS defines anxiety as “a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe”, it’s prevalence in the population has seen a steady increase over recent years and in 2016 Mind.uk identified that around 6 in 100 people suffer with anxiety issues and Anxiety UK suggest that 1 in 6 teenagers will experience anxiety. This means that on average there will be around 5 children in any given classroom experiencing anxiety symptoms at any one time. The Fundamental Facts of Mental Health Paper 2016 found that ‘in the UK, women are almost twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders. From the APMS (2014) results it can be deduced that, in England, 6.8% of all women were diagnosed with general anxiety disorder compared to 4.9% of all men.’ It was shown that generalised anxiety disorder diagnosis’ rose from 4.4% in 2007 to…

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Child Therapy – From a child’s perspective… (testimonial)

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, books, BWRT, child therapy, Uncategorised | No Comments

I really love my therapy and coaching work with young people, their imaginations and willingness to open up and explore the child therapy techniques I offer means that they often experience big breakthroughs in 1-6 sessions (depending on the reason for attending). So you can imagine how touched I was when I received this beautiful story from one of my 12 year old clients which she submitted to a local radio station story writing contest, it looks at the session we completed to help her find some inner peace and joy…. she even had the chance to meet Brian my therapy dog! I’ll let her say the rest…    “Once there was a girl named Poppy and she was a big worrier for many reasons that cannot be explained. One day something life changing happened; she was going to see her one and only hero, worry expert Nicki Edwards and her…

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Perfectionism, Stress, School and our Teenagers

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy, Teenagers, Uncategorised | No Comments

Having worked with the 16+ age group for 14 years this year (still feels like yesterday that I started) it’s been an interesting concept to watch the changes in mindset, challenges and mental health. One of the key things that is becoming more and more noticeable is that a higher number of teenagers and young people are striving to obtain a level of perfectionism that is causing higher levels of: Stress Anxiety Worry And in more extreme cases: Disordered eating Self-harming behaviours If you read my previous blog ‘Is the world causing our children anxiety‘ you’ll already know that I discussed the influence of social media and technology on our children’s limbic brain development (the part of the brain responsible for emotional behaviours) if not it is worth a perusal to look at the statistics released in the Child Mental Health Report 2017 where we see the links between social…

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Is the world causing our children anxiety?

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, BWRT, Children's Therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

As the years go by my office is filled with more and more children and teenagers who are struggling with unwanted thoughts and feelings. Since I wrote the Adventures of Brian book collection this has only grown more considerably. Leading me to question – is the world causing our children anxiety? 19 years ago when I first entered the world of early years (working in a nursery) we would occasionally meet a child with separation anxiety or thumb sucking but these were few and far between. 15 years ago when I first went to work as a lecturer with 16-19 year olds you may have one teenager in your class with depression or anxiety but again it was much more a rarity than the world presented today. In the early days of my career, or even in my own school days you just didn’t find a huge number of children…

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A-B-C – are we missing the letters of child behaviour?

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, BWRT, Children's Therapy, hypnotherapy | No Comments

When I started my career working as a nursery nurse and later as a Nursery Manager and then a lecturer of early years I would routinely teach the ABC of behaviour to my staff and students… it was as simple as falling off a bike and a lesson I continue to use in my work as a therapist, however it is a lesson that we are forgetting in LIFE. Let me explain…. A B C of behaviour  The ABC of behaviour looks at child behaviour from the position that everything has an ABC A – Antecedent (the thing that caused the behaviour) B – Behaviour (the behaviour being demonstrated) C – Consequence (the result of the behaviour) It is an insightful way of remembering that NOTHING appears without a cause, so all behaviours from children are created by an ‘A’… Skipping the key letters…. However as the years go by,…

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Why our mummy bears need to be encouraged to engage in TLC

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Why our mummy bears need to be encouraged to engage in TLC…. Please note – whilst daddy bear is not mentioned in this blog it is not for a lack of respect of his role – we are just focussing on mummies today! I know you’re probably wondering if I have lost the plot after a little too much sunshine this weekend, however it was a conversation I had whilst standing at a book fair that prompted this blog. Mummy Bear Syndrome may not be a known term, in fact it was a new concept that I learnt 5 years ago whilst sat training with Richard Wain in the concepts of Responsive Hypnotherapy but it explains nearly everything you need to know about mummies. On becoming a mummy a woman quickly sidelines her needs and jumps into the defence of her baby. The Mummy Bear leads her pack of teddy…

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2 reasons our children’s worries are greater than ever

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, BWRT, Children's Therapy | No Comments

Have you ever noticed that our children are worrying more than ever? Children’s worries are at an all time high. Every week in my office I am visited by children and teenagers who are struggling with worries, anxiety or catastrophizing about events that haven’t even happened. The incidences of appointments for these has risen significantly over the last year. This includes visits for: – Children worrying about safety – Child anxiety – Separation anxiety from parents – Children struggling with OCD or habit based behaviours – Sleep issues – Children who catastrophize about events that ‘might’ happen in the future So where has it come from? Before I start my explanations (from my personal perspective) I want you to cast your mind back to the late 1980s/early 1990s – the days when as children we were found climbing in trees, staying out on your bike, water fights with your super…

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3 reasons NOT to wait for your child to grow out of it…

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, BWRT, Children's Therapy, confidence | No Comments

Why you shouldn’t wait for your child to access children’s therapy for their worries and behaviours….. “They’ll grow out of it”  “Don’t worry about it – they’ll grow out of it”  “We’ll review it when they are older….”  Ever heard those ill fated words before? When it comes to our child’s emotional or mental health do we really want to WAIT? In some cases they will grow out of it, for example a few children do grow out of their little worries, some children do grow out of their anxiety, and many  children do grow out of their toilet training issues (did you know that the hormones responsible for urine control in some children don’t mature until the age of 12??) HOWEVER Many issues do not disappear and in some cases leaving your child to grow out of it can actually create a greater issue to be treated later.  So…

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What if we could draw perfectly?

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, books, BWRT, Children's Therapy, confidence, Responsive Therapy, self-esteem | No Comments

My friend’s little girl came to play yesterday. We had finished baking and were sat at my dining room table drawing together (and using every single sticker I had in the house) when she looked over at my picture. I was drawing a picture of Brian (from the Adventures of Brian) at the time and she stopped and said ‘how did you get so good at drawing?’ When I replied ‘well I practiced lots and made lots of mistakes to learn’ she laughed and said ‘but I make lots of mistakes’ which made me stop for a moment. We all make lots of mistakes, don’t we? I probably spend most of my day getting frustrated at my own mistakes and having to find ways to resolve them. But only a child will tell you that honestly, with no agenda, no cover up, just pure honesty – ‘I make lots of…

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Why we need to teach our children not to give up….

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, BWRT, Children's Therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

When I used to teach my students often got fed up with me, I will add here that it wasn’t because I was a terrible teacher, but because I refused to listen to the words ‘can’t’ I can’t do it The words I wouldn’t abide by. I wasn’t being mean… The thing is, I said it because I knew that they COULD do it – I just needed to show them a different way. That was my job as far as I was concerned. If they weren’t getting it then I needed to explain it or demonstrate it in a different way so that they COULD get it and they COULD do their work and that they COULD achieve. After all, those achievements add up, and when we learn to persevere we learn do find new ways to do things. New routes to our goals, and new journeys to our…

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The Power of Children and why we need to listen to them…

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, books, Children's Therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

‘It’s just a child’ ‘You’re too little’ ‘When you’re older’ I’ve spent over 15 years of my career working with children in a variety of capacities from early years professions, to teaching, to child obesity and now therapy, and there is a resounding pattern that I’ve watched repeat itself…. We don’t listen to them… when really they are more highly intuitive than we will ever be.. Let me explain… Children have this incredible capacity to identify what is really happening and they gauge feelings, situations and issues in a completely different way to adults. As an adult we will try to weigh up options, look at pros and cons, utilise our pattern matches to see if we have any prior experience which tells us what we should ‘do next’. We then use this information along with our perception of our ‘gut instincts’ and apply to said situation and hope for…

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